How to measure a manager’s leadership styles with management tools? Part 2

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In my previous post on measuring leadership styles to use knowledge about a manager to simulate his performance and consequently replace him with an artificial manager, I wrote about the first concepts and divisions of leadership styles. Now I will show what division of management styles we took into account and why.

First, we looked at the classification of management styles according to R. Likert. He distinguished the following styles: exploitative authoritarian, benevolent authoritarian, consultative and participative (Likert 1958). Such a division was developed into Blake and Mouton’s grid of leadership styles and includes withdrawn, autocratic, relational, balanced and integrated styles (Blake, Mouton 1964).

A few decades later, Stoner and Wankel (1994), by placing Blake and Mouton’s style grid on a scale of 1 to 9, distinguished four leadership styles, i.e., impoverished leadership (1.1) (authors’ note – also referred to in the literature as laissez-faire) with little concern for people and tasks; club leadership – with much concern for employees and little concern for tasks (1. 9); task-based management – with high concern for tasks, production and efficiency and low concern for people (9.1); team-based management – with high concern for both production and results and employee morale and satisfaction (9.9). In their view, the latter style helps increase team effectiveness (Stoner, Wankel 1994).

It is worth mentioning that in their further work, Blake and Mouton (1981) also distinguished between dominant and backup management styles. In this view, a dominant style is one of the five proposed by these authors that is commonly adopted by a manager. A backup, on the other hand, is a management style that is adopted under special circumstances, such as an exceptionally stressful situation.

In our research, we adopted Blake and Mouton’s concept. We distinguished between two main styles: people orientation and task orientation. Both of these styles strongly differentiate a manager’s behavior, which is useful in the implementation of an artificial manager – if an artificial manager can distinguish when to apply a task-orientation style and when to apply a people-orientation style, he or she can trigger adequate managerial actions.

In our research, we adopted two hypotheses:

H1: In a highly structured work environment, every manager of a virtual team has the same management style.

H2: In a highly structured work environment, the leadership style of a virtual team manager does not change.

How did we verify them? Read in Part 3 on this topic.

Stoner J.A.F., Wankel Ch. [1994], Kierowanie, PWE, Warszawa

Likert R. [1958], Measuring Organizational Performance, w: „Harvard Business Review”, nr 36(2), s. 41-50.

Blake R.R., Mouton J.S. [1964], The Managerial Grid, Gulf Publishing Company, Houston

Blake R.R., Mouton J.S. [1981], The New Managerial Grid, 4th ed., Gulf Publishing Company, Houston